Martinez man dies in motorcycle wreck
A Martinez man died early Saturday after his motorcycle crashed into a utility pole during a pursuit by Richmond County sheriff's deputies.
Richard Alan Courtney, 46, of the 200 block of Rose Street, died just after 2 a.m. when his chopper-style motorcycle struck the pole as he sped along the 1800 block of Central Avenue near Family Dollar, according to Richmond County Chief Deputy Coroner Mark Bowen. Alcohol was probably a contributing factor, Bowen said.
Police say Courtney was driving erratically without his lights on, driving on the wrong side of the road on Central Avenue near Heard Avenue. Police say he attempted to flee when police tried to pull him over.
Courtney lost control of the motorcycle near Murphy Street. Though he was wearing a helmet, it was thrown 25 feet away, police said.
The victim's driver's license was suspended for a previous charge of driving under the influence, and he had warrants for his arrest on charges including aggravated assault, simple battery and cruelty to children, according to police.Blazes destroy homes in Grovetown, Harlem
Two rural homes - one in Columbia County and the other in McDuffie County near the Columbia County line - were destroyed by fire Friday. The Columbia County blaze resulted from burning yard waste, and the McDuffie County blaze was caused by two children playing with a lighter, officials said.
Martinez-Columbia Fire and Rescue firefighters battled a blaze that destroyed a double-wide mobile home on Eisenview Drive near Grovetown. Outdoor burning was blamed for the fire.
No one was injured.
The owner of the destroyed property, who lives next door to it, had been burning yard debris earlier in the day, left it unattended and it spread to the mobile home, Martinez-Columbia Assistant Chief James Champion said. He said he was unsure whether the owner had a burning permit.
The second fire occurred at about 4 p.m. at 1093 County Line Road at the McDuffie-Columbia county line. Authorities said the destroyed structure, owned by Leo Strickland, was an abandoned house more than 150 years old.
Capt. Steve Parish, of McDuffie County Fire Rescue, said the fire was set by two boys, ages 5 and 7, who had a lighter and were setting paper on fire inside the home when a blaze broke out. Parish said the boys fled the scene when the fire erupted and they would not be formally charged. There were no injuries in that fire either.
The following accounts were taken from reports filed with the Columbia County Sheriff's Office:
Teen arrested on concealed weapon charge
A Martinez teen was arrested Thursday after police discovered that he was carrying a concealed firearm and ammunition in his vehicle.
Columbia County sheriff's deputies pulled over Jarrod Daniel Bradley, 19, of the 700 block of Hickory Oak Hollow, after noticing that he was not wearing a seat belt just before 10 p.m. near Baston and Old Petersburg roads. A deputy asked Bradley to get out of the car and be patted down before answering some questions. While frisking Bradley, the deputy felt what turned out to be Winchester .38 Special hollow-point rounds in Bradley's right front pocket.
While searching the car, deputies found a Rossi .38 Special revolver concealed in the center console of the car and a box of 48 more rounds in Bradley's backpack, the report stated.
Bradley was arrested and charged with carrying a concealed weapon, failure to meet windshield or wiper requirements and failure to wear a seat belt. He was released from the Columbia County Detention Center Friday after posting a $3,300 bond, according to jail records.Augusta woman arrested on shoplifting, obstruction
Just two days after a new Marshalls department store opened in Evans, an Augusta woman was arrested Saturday at the store on a shoplifting charge.
The loss prevention officer at the store in Mullins Crossing shopping center told police that just before 3 p.m. she witnessed Renee Williams, 19, of the 1600 block of McCauley Street, place six pairs of tennis shoes worth nearly $130 into a diaper bag that she had brought into the store. The officer stopped Williams when she reportedly tried to leave the store and held her in the office until police arrived.
Williams told police she needed to use the restroom, so a Columbia County sheriff's deputy escorted her to one. While walking back to the office, Williams ran from the store. After a brief foot chase, deputies caught her.
Williams was arrested and charged with misdemeanor shoplifting and obstruction or hindering a law enforcement officer. She was released from the Columbia County Detention Center Sunday after posting a $2,200 bond, according to jail records.
Martinez-Columbia Fire and Rescue Activity Report for the week of April 9-15:
Structure fires, four; woods fires, four; grass fires, three; vehicle fires, three; dumpster fire, one; fire alarms, six; carbon monoxide, two; natural gas leak, one; medical calls, 10; rescue calls, 14; investigations, 11; public safety assistance, one and other, one.
Police blotter n
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